Old as Dirt!
Join Date: Nov 2008
Location: Tampa Bay Area
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I had a similar experience with a boatyard in St. Pete when we had work done on our former yacht in 1999-2000. In researching the law at that time I was amazed to discover that many of the consumer protection laws in Florida explicitly exclude pleasure boats and yachts. To say that was a distressing discovery is an understatement.
If you have a signed agreement, ensure that you have read all of the verbiage, particularly any small print. If the agreement does not make any reference to the matters specific to the yard's claims you might have an advantage. Not so, however, if the agreement makes any reference to the yard's "standard practices" even though they may not be specifically enunciated in the agreement. In Florida, boatyards commonly require that work on a boat be done by or through the yard--although frequently they will use the same sub-contractors as you might yourself but charge for their time at the yard's labor rate. If so, the yard will likely have notice of such policy posted somewhere, commonly in the office where one deals with the yard manager, but not necessarily.
If I were in your position, I would review the Agreement very carefully. If afterward you remain convinced you are right, speak with an attorney and, if possible, have a letter sent to the yard indicating that if the terms of the Agreement are not honored, you will proceed with a lawsuit to enforce the Agreement/Contract and seek compensation for any damages that might be inflicted on the yacht by the yard's breech, including recovery of legal fees.
"It is not so much for its beauty that the sea makes a claim upon men's hearts, as for that subtle something, that quality of air, that emanation from the waves, that so wonderfully renews a weary spirit."
Last edited by svHyLyte; 01-16-2011 at 06:54 PM.